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Soils for nutrition: state of the art









FAO. 2022. Soils for nutrition: state of the art. Rome.




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    Booklet
    Soils, where food begins
    Outcome document of the Global Symposium on soils for nutrition, 26–29 July 2022
    2023
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    The Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition outcome document highlights the latest research findings and multisectoral insights which evidenced that nutrient imbalance is a global and crosscutting threat with multifactorial drivers and effects on the agrifood systems and even on key planetary processes. The recommendations presented in this document aim to support the implementation of actions and development of policies towards healthy and fertile soils by 2030, allowing the sustainable production of more nutritious and safer food with a climatic and environmentally friendly approach and in the framework of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This document also collates the communication campaign aimed at positioning the soils for nutrition topic in the public eye. The Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition was held virtually from 26 to 29 July 2023. It was attended by over 9 500 participants representing more than 180 countries, including representatives of FAO Members, organizing institutions, academia, research institutions, the private sector, civil society, and farmers, as well as land users working on soil fertility, nutrient imbalances and related fields. This document is also based on the booklet “Soils for nutrition: state of the art" and is complemented by a book of proceedings, which presents extended abstracts of the various parallel sessions and posters presented during the symposium. Symposium website: https://www.fao.org/events/detail/symposium-soils-for-nutrition/en
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Case studies on policies and strategies for sustainable soil fertility and fertilizer management in South Asia 2011
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    According to FAO's latest estimates, global food production needs to increase by 70 percent by 2050 to feed an additional 2.3 billion people. Projections indicate that about 80 percent of the gains in production will need to come from increased yield growth and cropping intensity on existing farmlands. Nutrient depletion of soils is a key constraint to boosting the productivity of small and marginal farmers in Asia and the Pacific, who are among the most food-insecure. Efficient fertilizer use i s vital to reversing this trend. Most soil fertility depletion is caused when disposable household income is too low for farmers to advance from low-input/low-output farming, resulting in nutrient mining. Serious efforts are required at national and regional levels to develop appropriate policies, technologies and capacities to address this challenge. Policies must ensure that soil fertility is not depleted in low-input systems while also helping to curb overuse of fertilizers that, in some case s, leads to serious damage to ecosystems. As part of FAO's mandate to develop a knowledge base in support of food security and rural livelihoods, the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific commissioned national studies on fertilizer use in South Asia, which has the largest incidence of food insecurity in the region. The studies aim to identify gaps in prevailing strategies and policies, and make recommendations for improvement. This book contains four case studies from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakis tan and Sri Lanka, and a chapter on guidelines for fertilizer demand assessment and forecasting.
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    Project
    Support to the Promotion of Conservation Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management for Sustained Soil Fertility and Productivity - TCP/GHA/3701 2023
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    The degradation of soils, which are the foundation of agrifood systems, is alarming in sub Saharan Africa, which is already facing continued population growth that increases pressure on scarce natural resources Soil in Ghana is becoming low in nutrients, fragile and exposed to adverse natural and environmental pressures In addition, unsustainable farming systems on marginal lands and the overuse of chemical fertilizers and misuse of pesticides have led to declining soil fertility and contamination of the natural environment, rendering soils unproductive and negatively affecting livelihoods Smallholder agriculture, especially in the northern part of the country, is characterized by natural production with low access to productive assets, information and technical skills, low level of implementation of modern technologies and mechanization, small farm sizes, lack of productive infrastructures and rural finance institutions Moreover, subsistence farmers are the most exposed to climate change and price volatility Conservation Agriculture ( has proven to be a viable approach that contributes to improved and sustainable productivity, environmental protection and climate change adaptation It aims to improve soil productivity and conservation and includes practices that combine integrated management of soil, water and agricultural resources to boost food production Despite the potential benefits, implementation of CA, Integrated Pest Management ( and other Climate Smart Agriculture ( practices by smallholders remains low Previous experience with these types of interventions in Ghana showed a lack of evidence based interventions, know how on appropriate technologies to use and access to appropriate and locally designed tools and affordable equipment Smallholder households were identified as slow adopters of CA There is also the need to introduce the benefits of IPM to farmers to minimize the use of chemicals in foods As such, this project aimed to improve production systems and strengthen resilient livelihoods by using a climate smart approach as well as dealing with issues affecting agriculture management of natural resources The project targeted smallholder food crop farm families who are the most vulnerable with limited access to markets and credit The issues to be addressed were the degradation of natural resources due to inappropriate farming practices and population growth, improper use of agrochemicals in farming, a lack of organizational capacity to deal with climate change impacts at the community leveI inadequate access to resources and negligible or no access to information on good agricultural practices and climate change impacts.

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